Menopausal insomnia? – 5 ways to sleep during menopause

How many hours did you sleep last night? Experts tell us that, as adults, we need 7 to 8 hours of peaceful sleep per night to stay healthy, alert, and able to function effectively in our daily lives. Unfortunately for many women going through menopause, that amount of uninterrupted nighttime rest is nothing more than a pipe dream.

Lack of sleep can leave you irritable, unable to focus on work or daily tasks. Over time, insomnia can lead to depression and a weakening of the immune system.

Although the inability to get a good night’s sleep can be related to psychological problems such as anxiety, stress at work, family or relationship concerns, and financial concerns, changes in hormone levels are often the main cause of insomnia in women during the menopausal years.

A decrease in progesterone, which normally has a sleep-inducing effect, may mean that you cannot fall asleep quickly or soundly, while decreased estrogen levels can cause hot flashes and night sweats, waking you up several times at night and interrupting your sleep. cycle.

How to get a good night’s sleep

Fortunately, there are ways you can relax your body and mind to induce sleep and get the rest you need.

  1. Natural and herbal remedies

Herbal remedies are a safe and natural non-drug alternative treatment for menopausal symptoms and insomnia. Plant extracts like Black Cohosh and Dong Quai have been shown to address the hormonal imbalance that causes insomnia, hot flashes, and night sweats. Melatonin, passion flower, and valerian root can all be effective in helping you relax and promote restful sleep.

  1. Relaxation techniques

Guided meditation and music therapy, whether in the form of CDs or downloadable MP3 files, can be extremely powerful in promoting deep relaxation and ultimately sleep.

The breathing techniques used in meditation are also calming and relaxing and help prepare you for sleep. Lie on your back and try to fully focus on your breathing, in and out. Whenever thoughts enter your mind (and they will), just calmly set them aside and refocus on your breathing. It takes a bit of practice, but it’s also a great technique to get back to sleep if you wake up during the night.

Progressive muscle relaxation techniques focus on relaxing the body, which in turn relaxes the mind. Lie on your back and consciously relax each muscle one by one, starting with the toes and slowly moving up through the ankles, knees, upper legs, thighs, abdomen, chest, hands, arms, shoulders. , neck, jaw, face and head. it works so well that you will probably fall asleep before reaching your neck.

  1. Read a good book

Something comforting and benign; no adventure novels, psychological thrillers or horror stories. A couple of paragraphs before bed can often be enough to lull you to sleep.

  1. Yoga

A simple yoga stretching and relaxation routine before bed can set you up for a restful night’s rest.

  1. Hot bath or shower, Aromas

Try taking a warm, relaxing bath or shower about 15 minutes before bed. Scented candles or soaps can bring a sense of calm and relaxation to your nightly ablutions. Don’t forget to blow out the candles before going to bed!

Top 5 things NOT to DO …

  1. Watch TV directly before bed (or while in bed!).
  2. Work on the computer or surf the web for at least 2 hours before going to bed.
  3. Drink alcohol or caffeine for at least 4 hours before going to bed at night.
  4. Eat large meals or snacks after 7 pm
  5. Read upsetting or stimulating books in bed.

There is no single cure for insomnia. You have to find out what works for you. You can do this by trying some of the remedies and techniques mentioned here to see which ones actually work for you. Keep a journal so you can see if certain activities, eating or drinking patterns correspond to your insomnia.

And if all else fails, get up and go to another room for 10 minutes before going back to bed. Sometimes it works!